Live Auctions

1 Of 131! 1951 Frazer Manhattan Convertible

UPDATE – Four months after being featured here on Barn Finds, this rare 1951 Frazer Manhattan Convertible is listed for sale again, this time here on craigslist. The seller is asking $12,000 or best offer for this very worthy project. Do you have what it takes to bring this rare car back to its former glory? Thanks to Matt R. for sending in this updated listing!

FROM 12/12/2018 – We looked at a nice project 1949 Frazer Manhattan sedan a few days ago here at Barn Finds, and here is the granddaddy, mac daddy, big daddy, and every-other-daddy-that-I-can-think-of Frazer: a 1951 Frazer Manhattan convertible! This museum-worthy restoration project can be found here on eBay in Marysville, California. The current bid price is just over $3,000 but the reserve isn’t met yet. This is the last year for the production of Frazer cars and this is the rarest of them all, hopefully, it can be saved. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in the tip for this super rare ragtop!

What a car, this is truly one rare car in any condition and you can see that this one isn’t in the best condition, at least soft-goods-wise. Metal-wise it looks pretty solid but every fiber of everything soft has been either eaten by rodents or burned up by the California sun. The seller says that this “car belonged to my grandfather and did see some outside storage. I have stored it indoors for the last 40 years.”

I don’t know if it’s a car that a person could just drop off at a restoration shop even with a Hagerty #2 excellent condition value of $65,300. It’ll take most of that to restore this former jewel to where it should be. If the next owner can tackle the bodywork and drivetrain restoration him/herself then it’s a very worthy task and they most likely won’t be into it for more than it’s worth. This was it, though, the top car for Frazer’s last year of production. And, what better than an unusual four-door convertible to have parked in your garage.

Whoa, “Hello, Acme Pest Control?” I don’t know if this is rodent damage on the interior but I’m guessing that a few generations of those l’il buggers have lived in the interior of this car over the decades that it has been in storage. The seller says “One of only 131 manufactured. Still has all electric window controls, convertible top mechanism, hand-built automatic transmission, engine and running gear.” Oddly enough, this car would have sold for around $3,100 in 1951 which equates to only $30,000 today. Some of you have paid twice that for the four-door pickup that you’re driving!

The engine, looking equally dusty and surface-rusty should be Continental’s 226.2 cubic-inch Supersonic L-head inline-six with 115 hp. That’s a pretty impressive-sounding engine name for having just 115 hp. Double that horsepower would have been a good start for this 4,100-pound car. Here’s what it should look like and hopefully will again. Can this rare and important piece of American car history be saved?


  1. Ken

    “Can this rare and important piece of American car history be saved?”

    Yeah…but then again it’s just as likely some idiot will try to make a rat rod out of it.

    “Hey, Billy Bob! Check out muh Frazier!”
    “Uh, I believe that’s a Frazer, Cletus.”
    “Nah…it’s a FRAZIER!”

    Like 5
    • Al

      Whatcha ridin’ in a Freezer fur?

      Ain’t it cold nuf fur ewe?

      What kinda freezer? Oh a Kelvinator, OK. Just keep it plugged in.

      Like 6
  2. Will Fox

    These simply do not grow on trees. This has to be only one of a VERY few left on this earth, and as solid as the body is, it’s WELL worth the cost of a top-notch restoration. This Frazer would look stunning in its original seafoam green, with a rust-colored leather interior! Judging from the photos, it’s very complete, and any difficult trim items seem to be intact. I just hope this gem gets into the right hands, and is restored as it should be. It won’t be cheap but it WILL be worth every dime spent!

    Like 10
  3. Dcowan

    Maybe this is just another one of those hose stories. You don’t know what ya got until it goes to crap. Gotta wonder how people let these pieces of history get so bad.

    Like 5
  4. Maestro1

    WIll Fox is correct. Ikey has found automotive history in a garage. This aboslutely needs to be restored to its original self and will be expensive to do so. It will be worth the cost. Someone do this.

    Like 6
  5. Tort Member

    With the rarity and the metal in good to fair condition it definitely needs to be returned to what it was in 1949. With the prices bringing at Barrett Jackson, Mercum and others there is someone out there that can afford to pay for the restoration.

    Like 6
  6. Del

    Rare car . Whats left of it.

    Looks like it was on the Titanic too long.

    Do not think its saveable

    Like 2
    • cyclemikey

      Not savable? It looks to be solid as a rock. Unless you shop for your restoration projects at the new-car dealer, this is an eminently worthy project.

      Like 10
  7. Fred W

    Very savable and worth saving! Drivetrain is same as in low dollar Kaisers so quite easy to replace- get a good running $6000 4 door car and transplant the engine, trans and rear end to make life easier. As bad as the seats look, you can strip the padding, rebuild and recover.

    Like 17
    • Will Fox

      BINGO!! Thank you Fred! THat’s EXACTLY how this car should look when restored. An absolute gem.

      Like 2
  8. Ron

    It is saveable and probably with minor tinkering will run. I sold a 51 Vagabond utility sedan 1951 last year that was the forerunner of the SUV and it was an automatic and had sat in the woods for 25-30 year and had it running and driving in about 2 hrs. I have friends who are Orphan car collectors in Huntsville Ala who have one of these I think better than this one and they have recently decided to sell it. It is missing one bow on the top assy only. I know they had several other 51 Frazers including Vagabonds like the one I sold and I am not positive but may have had a parts car to the Convertible so of the 131 Mfd there are 3 or more known in existence. Well deserves to be saved. I think the ne my friends have is running and driving. Love to see someone save it

    Like 6
  9. Ken

    “This car belonged to my grandfather and did see some outside storage.”

    No kidding.

    Like 11
  10. ctmphrs

    It seems as though the consensus is that this car is definitely worth saving as long as somebody else does it.

    Like 11
  11. Edward

    What else is back there in behind this once exquisite car?

    Like 2
    • Chinga Trailer

      Looks like the same Marysville garage that contained a number of very rusty Lincolns recently. I suspect they were all underwater with the floods that afflicted the area.

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yep…..needs to be back on the road and parts are a plenty and cheap…….

    Like 1
  13. robj Member

    I don’t know but it appears all the hard parts are present and accounted for. Thats a big plus right there. Soft parts, find the right guy and get out your checkbook. But with a rare bird such as this, it really looks pretty straight forward. Shabby, yes, but appears to be little body rust. Looks pretty doable if a fan of this mark.

    Like 4
  14. Fred H

    $12,000 to buy $60,000 to $80,000 to restore .Then try and find a buyer..

    Like 4
  15. Ted

    Still has it’s electric windows.

    I read somewhere once where Frazer electric windows unbolted themselves and stole away in the night when no one was looking.

    Stay in school kids, trust me on this.

    Like 2
  16. Paris Trout

    I am sort of surprised ICON didn’t pick this one up the first time around.
    This seems like the quintessential Derelict car.
    The body has nearly the perfect finish, and the rest of the car is complete junk. ( I say that in a loving, car guy, way )

    While I know many will scream: ” IT HAS TO BE PUT BACK TO ORIGINAL! IT’S TOO RARE TO MODIFY!!!”

    I think this is the perfect car to do as a Derelict Electric conversion, much like the 40 merc’ he just finished.

    Let’s face it, if it’s restored to original, it will end up a museum piece.
    Convert it to electric, do beautiful ICON interior, and with the convertible top, it becomes the perfect parade car. Then everyone will get to enjoy it.

    There is probably no finer outcome for this car than that.

    Granted, I don’t have half a million to fund the job, but I bet there is someone out there that would.
    It’s all about exclusivity now. Some guys will pay a lot of money to have a car that no one else has. I can pretty much guarantee there won’t be another 51 Frazer vert at the next Cars n’ Coffee, or the one after that, or the one after that…..

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.


WANTED 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible Looking for the rear seats or bare frames. Must be from a convertible which are smaller. Contact

WANTED 1963-1967 Chevrolet corvette coupe roller or body Contact

WANTED 1966 Pontiac GTO Must be Maroon, BLK seats, 4 sp, exl con. every thing else is a plus, Money in hand. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad